Taco Bell's image has completely changed for the better.
The brand was once called Taco Hell and known for cheap food with poor quality.
But Taco Bell has become a social-media sensation in recent years. Customers, many in high school and college, proudly post photos of their Taco Bell meals to Twitter and Instagram.
We spoke with Taco Bell's chief marketing officer, Chris Brandt, about the two major changes the company has implemented to transform its brand.
1. Innovating products. Taco Bell has revamped its menu. The brand released the Doritos Locos Taco in 2012, selling more than 1 billion units the first year. Taco Bell started offering a healthier "fresca" menu. This year, the big menu innovation is breakfast. Taco Bell also made tweaks to the quality of its ingredients. "We have better beans, beef, real pico de gallo," Brandt said. "The improvement in quality made a big difference." Taco Bell's sales rose 5% in 2013.
2. Hitting on trends. Taco Bell has built an image as a snacking and late-night destination. The brand started Happier Hour with loaded griller burritos and medium fountain drinks for $1. "Consumers wanted more options at different hours than the traditional fast-food experience," Brandt said. "By adjusting to their changing tastes, we've been able to get even more customers."
Taco Bell executives hope the breakfast menu, which launched nationwide March 27, will make the chain an even bigger brand.
"We're in breakfast for the long haul and plan to be here on a permanent basis," Brandt told Business Insder. "We want to be people's new routine for breakfast."
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